Words by Tim Anderl
Tim Anderl is a Dayton, Ohio-based writer whose work has published in Alternative Press, Strength Skateboarding, Ghettoblaster, New Noise Magazine among other alternative weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications/blogs. He’s the former host of the Sound Check Chat podcast and runs a boutique PR firm, Sweet Cheetah Publicity. Growing up in the rich culture of the ’80s lead Tim to a life-long love of music, including post-punk, new wave, darkwave, goth, dream pop.
As the veil of the pandemic is lifted, and the world begins to find its new normal, music fans have been happily bombarded by rescheduled tours and festival announcements. Among those are the New Order/Pet Shop Boys co-headliner, Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark, Nine Inch Nails with support from The Pixies, and enough others to make even the most financial comfortable concertgoer weary of breaking their bank.
For me, the event I was hoping would resurface post-Covid, was California’s Cruel World, which was recently moved from the previously slated location in at Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson to Pasadena’s Brookside Park and the Rose Bowl, which previously hosted Depeche Mode’s groundbreaking 101 concert. With nearly all of its originally scheduled lineup intact, the festival includes Bauhaus, Blondie, The Psychedelic Furs and Devo. There are a few dropouts, including Gary Numan and Marc Almond, and a few acts joining the bill that weren’t previously advertised, including The Damned. Sadly, latecomers will find that the tickets promptly sold out earlier this month. Happily, I secured mine (for a second time).
In addition to tours, there have been a bevy of recent and future releases that are sure to provide the appropriate soundtrack for post-pandemic Summer ‘21.
Adopting the namesake of one of Britain’s most popular beauty spots, and notorious as a suicide spot, Beachy Head released a self-titled collection of personal and honest songs written by Christian Savill (Slowdive) via Graveface Records on April 30. Hot on the heels of that release, which includes contributions from members of The Casket Girls, Soft Cavalry, The Flaming Lips, and Mojave 3, the band have announced November tour dates alongside Soft Kill, Hey Rocco, The Lemonheads and a show with Dinosaur Jr.
The Cure’s acclaimed 28-song, 135-minute concert film is now available to stream for the first time ever exclusively on The Coda Collection. Captured on the final night of 2018 Meltdown Festival, CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There, is a four decade deep set of career highlights that the group delivered to 3,000 fans at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
Philadelphia’s Lovelorn, consisting of Anna and Patrick Troxell of Creepoid, has begun sharing details of their debut album, What’s Yr Damage, which sees release August 6 via 6131 Records. Named for a term of endearment used by the pair who have long shared a romantic and creative partnership, their brand of synth-fueled pop signals a solid foundation of influences, including Echo & The Bunnymen, Spacemen 3 and the like, and a bright future. Watch for Whats Yr Damage? U.S. tour dates, which will take place in the August/September timeframe.
Legendary British post-punk band Modern English announce an upcoming U.S. fall headlining tour that promises an opportunity to hear the band perform its classic 1982 album After The Snow, which has released by the legendary 4AD Records in the UK and licensed to Sire Records in the U.S. As the title suggests, the icy sounds on After the Snow revealed the band’s potent songwriting that jettisoned the band from the underground to the mainstream. Support for the fall run comes from a heavy-hitting pair of newer punk emissaries, Ganser and Bootblacks, which ensures an exciting and engaging run. In addition to the tour announcement, the band is offering a downloadable version of its iconic modern radio hit “I Melt With You” (Lockdown Version) through its Bandcamp. The release benefits The National Independent Venue Association.
Electro-synth poppers Nation of Language, whose debut was one of the most acclaimed and celebrated debut albums of 2020, have announced their sophomore follow up, A Way Forward. They’ve also shared the album’s first single “Across That Fine Line,” a song that vocalist Ian Devaney says was inspired by Thee Oh Sees’ approach of supercharging krautrock rhythms and imbuing them with mania. Additionally, they will head out on their first U.S. headlining tour this September and October, and will be making appearances at this year’s Reading-Leeds Festival in the UK and Governors Ball in NYC.
Los Angeles’ Provoker, a post-punk band who wistfully evokes classic ‘80s touchstone sounds that are recontextualized and R&B inspired, will soon announce details for their forthcoming debut LP arriving this year via YEAR0001 (Viagra Boys, Yung Lean, etc.). The band’s video of “Spell Strike,” directed by Actual Objects (Serpentwithfeet, Young Thug) provides a welcome introduction.
Glasgow, Scotland-based Canadian synth artist Soft Riot [disclosure: Soft Riot is a client of Sweet Cheetah Publicity] has announced a new record called Second Lives, his ninth and new “compilation” album to be released by Possession Records on June 28. The release includes completely new versions of a few old songs from old albums (such as 2013’s Fiction Prediction), a track intended for a compilation that was never release, and an un-released track of each from previous recent albums When Push Comes To Shove (2019) and Chin Up (2020). There’s two cover songs done by Canadian artists that were originally put out on releases now out-of-print: “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” by songwriter Bruce Cockburn from his 1984 album Stealing Fire as well as an interpretation of “We Are The Chopped” originally done by the legendary punk band Nomeansno from their debut album Mama (1982). Soft Riot is also confirmed for Ombra Festival in November in Barcelona, and is firming up touring options in Europe for later in 2021/2022. Soft Riot is also booked at Gothic Pogo Festival in Leipzig, Germany on June 5, 2022 alongside Light Asylum and Tilly Electronics.